Building Your Team

Women as Leadersby Susan West

Leading is so much easier and more rewarding when you have surrounded yourself with the right team. When the team you lead relates well to one another, compliments your strengths and weaknesses and is confident enough to deliver, results will flow.

Whether you can recruit your team or inherit your team, you can begin to set the stage for working together by knowing who you are, what your unique abilities are and be willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly with one another. By your sharing your strengths and weaknesses, an increased level of awareness and openness becomes the norm. Expect the same from each of your team members. Ask them to share the same information with you and
their peers. This open sharing of likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses can open the door for projects to end up in the right manager’s hands and more collaboration between team members based on experiences.

When I was working on a very large quote for an important client with a peer of mine and a team of six others, we found ourselves spending many hours together. In the beginning of this project, we took the time to talk about ourselves – sharing what each of us did well and what each of us did not like to do. This open discussion led to clear assignment of tasks and facilitated quick ownership of their area of responsibility. Although, I was
leading the team and there was a lot of pressure by the Executive management team to win this quote, my confidence in our ability to deliver was high. I knew the team well. I knew what their strengths were and had engaged their commitment to the project at the very beginning. My job of leading the team was much easier.

The work done in getting to know one another well and understanding how best everyone can contribute up front in the early stages of pulling the team together is priceless. Take the time to learn more about your team members and let them learn more about you.

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